Coping with fulltime employment and evening study at Makere University : a case study of working adults enrolled for the Bachelor of Adult and Community education.
This research was conducted at Makerere University Uganda, in the Department of Adult Education and Communication Studies on adult students in fulltime employment who were emolled for an evening degree programme, faced with the challenge of getting time to study. The university had structured the course in such a way that lectures started at 5 : 00 P.M.,the time they left work. At times, they studied non stop for five hours, and had only 3 2% of their remaining school time residual in which to do independent study and assignments. Moreover, they were working in a neo-liberal labour market that demanded them to retrain, but in their own time and at their own cost. The focus of the study was on how these students integrated work with study in such a context. Specifically, the study looked at how these students found time to attend lectures, conduct independent study, revise, and take exams; and how they fulfilled their academic obligations. The study was qualitative and of the case study type aimed at getting an in-depth understanding of how these students coped with the multiple and conflicting demands of work and study. What emerged is that these students try to get time to attend lectures by reducing on time meant for work, but being careful to maintain the delicate balance between work and study. They needed to retrain if they were to remain employable, and they also needed the job for survival and paying for their education. They managed to fulfill their academic obligations in the little time available by adopting pragmatic behaviour. With pragmatic behaviour, the student would find out what is useful in a course and concentrate on that in order to maximize personal outcome. Given the context and the strategies these students adopted, they most likely missed out on meaningful learning as an important educational goal. The role of the socio-economic and study contexts in influencing these students' approach to studying and learning was important to note. Recommendations to change the context are made to all stakeholders in the programme.